Through July 29. Americas Society, 680 Park Avenue, Manhattan; 212-277-8960, as-coa.org/visualarts.
The relationship between humans and machines — and particularly humans mimicking machines and vice versa — was a popular motif in European modernism, and the Mexican artist Erick Meyenberg has channeled some of that for his installation at the Americas Society.
The title of this show, “The wheel bears no resemblance to a leg,” comes from a quote by the French poet Guillaume Apollinaire printed on the wall here: “When man wanted to imitate walking, he created the wheel, which bears no resemblance to a leg. In this way he engaged in surrealism without knowing it.”
Allusions to Apollinaire and other modern artists and writers surface throughout the show. The focal point, however, is a 16-minute video displayed on three screens and featuring members of a Mexico City high school marching band. Their solemnity and precision call to mind not only the historical connection between military regiments and clockwork machines, but also the similarities between marching bands and military brigades, as well as the bands and drum corps that accompanied soldiers into battle....
Image credit: Erick Meyenberg, The wheel bears no resemblance to a leg (video still), 2016. Courtesy of the artist.